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Dynamic Analyses of Liquid Storage Tanks


Haroun, Medhat Ahmed (1980) Dynamic Analyses of Liquid Storage Tanks. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/1J74-RH65.


Theoretical and experimental investigations of the dynamic behavior of cylindrical liquid storage tanks are conducted to seek possible improvements in the design of such tanks to resist earthquakes. The study is carried out in three phases: 1) a detailed theoretical treatment of the liquid-shell system, 2) an experimental investigation of the dynamic characteristics of full-scale tanks, and 3) a development of an improved design-procedure based on an approximate analysis.

Natural frequencies of vibration and the associated mode shapes are found through the use of a discretization scheme in which the elastic shell is modeled by finite elements and the fluid region is treated as a continuum by boundary solution techniques. In this approach, the number of unknowns is substantially less than in those analyses where both tank wall and fluid are subdivided into finite elements. A method is presented to compute the earthquake response of both perfect circular and irregular tanks; it is based on superposition of the free lateral vibrational modes. Detailed numerical examples are presented to illustrate the applicability and effectiveness of the analysis and to investigate the dynamic characteristics of tanks with widely different properties. Ambient and forced vibration tests are conducted on three full-scale water storage tanks to determine their dynamic characteristics. Comparison with previously computed mode shapes and frequencies shows good agreement with the experimental results, thus confirming the reliability of the theoretical analysis. Approximate solutions are also developed to provide practicing engineers with simple, fast, and sufficiently accurate tools for estimating the seismic response of storage tanks.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:civil engineering; earthquake engineering; liquid storage
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Civil Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Housner, George W.
Group:Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:December 1979
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Additional Information:Thesis (Ph.D.). UM #80-12,207
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Earthquake Research Affiliates Program of CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:08292019-100431566
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemAuthor's Earthquake Engineering Technical Report 80-04
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11769
Deposited By: Kathy Johnson
Deposited On:05 Sep 2019 21:10
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:26

Thesis Files

PDF (Thesis (349 pp.)) - Final Version
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